Album reviews

Reinier Baas/Jonas Burgwinkel/Kit Downes – ‘Deadeye’

Reinier Baas/Jonas Burgwinkel/Kit Downes – Deadeye
(Dox Records DOX633. Album review by Tony Dudley-Evans)

We tend to associate the Hammond Organ with the soul jazz and jazz rock of the 1960s and 70s and players such as Jimmy Smith, Lonnie Liston Smith and Larry Young. On this album on the Dutch label Dox Kit Downes takes a different approach, with his playing on the Hammond much less dominant in the overall sound and much more integrated with the other two musicians, Dutch guitarist Reinier Baas and German drummer Jonas Burgwinkel. The resulting album is a nicely varied set of music with excellent interaction between the three musicians.

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All three members of the trio contribute compositions, and it’s interesting to compare these. Reinier Baas contributes four compositions: the intriguing track, Mbira, in which the guitar captures the sound and rhythms of the mbira, the African thumb piano, with gentle backing from Downes on the organ. His other compositions are quite varied: Sonatina is quite atmospheric and features a well developed solo from Downes. Wild Bill is much more upbeat with a strong lead from the Hammond organ, whereas Dolasilla Returns The Treasure is a much gentler track.

Interestingly, Downes’ compositions seem to place the focus on Baas’ guitar rather than the organ. The title track Deadeye, which has an attractive melody and fine work from Baas with the organ in the background. Song For The Sea is similarly lyrical and builds to an excellent climax through fine interaction between organ, guitar and drums. Familiar is short and punchy with playful guitar.

Jonas Burgwinkel contributes just the one composition, Stingaloo, which begins with choppy rhythms on the drums and a more upbeat solo from Downes. One track, Hokus, seems to be totally improvised with outstanding interplay between the three players. 

The final two tracks are by other composers; Ninna Nanna Per Adulteri is by Enrico Morricone and the trio creates a soundscape with an electronic feel. The Wayfaring Stranger is a folk song from the 19th century based on a wistful melody.

This is a fine album with lots of variety in the material and a nicely integrated approach to the development of the compositions. 

LINK: Deadeye on Bandcamp

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